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MeritCare Hosting 1st Annual Health Care Summit

MeritCare is hosting a health care summit to gather health care leadership for thoughtful discussion of challenging issues impacting the health care industry and more specifically rural health care delivery.Friday & Saturday, November 13 & 14, Ramada, FargoHealthcare reform is the theme

Fargo, N.D. – For over a year MeritCare has been planning a summit to gather health care leadership for thoughtful discussion of challenging issues impacting the health care industry and more specifically rural health care delivery. Several months ago the topic and focus of the conference was chosen, "Real Discussion. Real Reform." and today the timing couldn't be more appropriate.

Over 100 participants are expected at this free event including policy makers, physicians and medical professionals, academics and administrators. It is not open to the public. It is intended for industry leaders to come together to shape the health care reform debate. As an integrated health system and as the nation's largest not-for-profit rural health care system, Sanford Health-MeritCare is well positioned to help lead reform.

The summit is the vision of Dr. Roger Gilbertson, MeritCare president emeritus. It is based on the tradition of "Founder's Day" which marks the opening of St. Luke's Hospital in 1908, which later became MeritCare Health System and now Sanford Health-MeritCare. Special guests include:

David Nash, M.D., MBA, FACP, dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia; founder of the original Office of Health Policy; and an internationally recognized specialist in outcomes management, medical staff development and quality-of-care improvement.

Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) - an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that addresses health care gaps for underserved and uninsured people. Dr. Wakefield is former director of the UND Center for Rural Health.

ND Congressman Earl Pomeroy, has represented the State of North Dakota in the House of Representatives since 1992 and sits on the powerful Ways and Means Committee which has jurisdiction over Medicare and health policy issues. As a co-chair of the bipartisan Rural Health Care Coalition, Pomeroy is a fierce advocate for adequate funding for rural programs and fair Medicare reimbursement to meet the unique needs of rural areas.

Panel members:
Mark Paulson, M.D., Managing Physician Partner, MeritCare Perham
Joshua Wynne, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., Interim Vice President for Health Affairs & Interim Dean for University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Science
Linda O'Halloran, M.S., R.N., F.A.C.H.E., Chief Operating Officer for MeritCare Medical Center, Fargo
Dan Ulmer, Assistant Vice President, Government Relations, Blue Cross Blue Shield North Dakota